Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Perfect Margarita

I did this a few years ago and this really is the perfect margarita recipe. It helps if you have a juicer because squeezing 25 limes by hand is not something I can recommend. This is stolen from Martha Stewart's website complete with photo but I would like a record of it in case her site goes away one day.

Mix a Margarita

A good margarita depends on the quality of its ingredients; always use the best tequila you can find. You'll get excellent results using a citrus reamer, a small, fluted cylindrical wooden tool, to extract every last drop of juice from the limes.


Makes 4

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup best-quality white tequila
  • 1/3 cup Cointreau
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more if desired


  1. To salt-rim the glasses, rub a cut lime around the rim of each of 4 stemmed goblets. Fill a saucer with salt. Dip goblet, upside down, into salt. Refrigerate goblets until ready to use.
  2. Fill blender three-quarters full of ice cubes. Pour lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau over ice. Add sugar; blend, starting slowly, and then increasing to high speed, until ice is very finely chopped and mixture is frothy. Taste for sweetness; add more sugar if desired. Blend a few seconds more; pour into salt-rimmed glasses. Serve immediately.

Project #8

April 29th, 2008
I cannot believe this just happened but it did. I am officially working on 3 projects. I have 2 projects and one blue swatch to be exact.
I got a lesson on it today. You do not count the edges because of slipped stitches so 20-4 on each side is 16. You measure the 16 stitches which were 3.5 inches. Then you divide 16/ 3 1/2=4.57 4.57 stitches =1" on 7" needles. I am not sure I 100% get this since it's late but I will get it later. The yarn is sort of the color of the font. It's Berrocco Pure Merino Color 8517 which probably means Blue and dye lot 2947.

April 30th, 2008
2:49 AM
I am not sure why I am up at this hour. Possibly because I spent all day sleeping. I have to remember not to slip the 1st stitch on this sweater because it looks nicer .. and something else. My friend Irina said to make a blanket. She has valid point there. She said babies hate getting in and out of stuff. By babies she probably means Levka the ex-baby.

It's light out so I was able to take this. I hope I get this done before he goes to college. I know I tend to mix drink posts with knitting posts. I just want to make it clear that they are completely unrelated.

May 1st, 2008
Baby is here .. Eli Elan to be exact. I have to verify the spelling because I may have to put that on the sweater. My hairdresser is Eli. I am sure he will be thrilled to have this information.

May 3rd, 2008
I am actually following a pattern for the 1st time in my life. Well I will be following it all the way up until the point where it tells me to pick up stitches. I am not about to pick up anything although I did ask the instructor how to do it but it was just for fun. I have done something before with a printed pattern but I had to ask the instructor what to do every second. Plus the pattern was so over photocopied it was almost completely black. I am not kidding. The instructor can verify. I love the baby sweater. It's so cute and baby like. I am afraid I am making it too tight. I hope Eli's head can handle it. I took some pictures but the world has to wait two hours for the camera battery to charge before it can see. I kind of want to look this pattern up online to see what it looks like but I so love positive anticipation that I am not going to do that.

Before the camera battery died...

After 2 hour battery recharge ..

I think I finally understand where the head goes.

5:27 PM
I just read the name of the author on this pattern and it says Lake Niagra. Whatever.

I am not sure what K1 row plain, bind off means. I have a feeling that's not what I did above. Also I bound off loosely and I feel like this is the only time I had to bind off tightly so the hood would stay on. I am assuming the pointy part is the top. Now I am depressed. Worried about the hood. I just really needed the #7s I was using for the shrug.

May 4th, 2008 11:39 PM
The instructor said this was fine. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy terrorizing her. This was not that important. I am looking at this and it's almost as if someone else made it. It's not perfect or anything but for some reason it feels like I am not responsible. I have not looked at it in person since Saturday. I keep clicking on the photo so I can see a closeup. I cannot believe I will not attempt to pick up stitches. I bet if the instructor was in my position she would have totally picked them up. OK. I am looking at the instructions and it says At the beginning of bind-off edge pick up 25 (27 29) It's like make up your mind before you write. 25, 27 or 29? I mean .. I guess the head is the cast on part. I thought it was the opposite. Well I went back and forth .. and finally settled on the idea that the triangular edge was the face opening.

11:53 PM
OK. I tried picking them up. No big deal. Except I am not sure if I should start from the very edge and how to space them and which side to knit on. I know I have to go underneath that edge with knots I was complaining about on Saturday. I remember I asked the instructor to show me how to pick them up for my dad's sweater and she was like "I pick them up for everyone .. " and on Saturday she was like "This is what you do .. " Did someone say consistency. I swear if she, or anyone close to her ever sees this they will kill me and their actions may be justified.

1:44 AM
I was just thinking since I cannot design my own clothes maybe I can try my hand in knitting sculpture like the ones in Not The Knitting You Know exhibit at Eleven Eleven Gallery in Washington DC. Just kidding. The zinc lozenges I have been eating instead of going to sleep are affecting my thinking process. I did not want put the link for the gallery in because I hate when people put links in blogs and then the links become invalid. It's the QA in me. If your curiosity happens to get to you you can Google it. This Blog is beginning to feel like an Ode. Give me a minute to look that up because I am not sure what I am saying.
1. type of lyric poem: a lyric poem, usually expressing exalted emotion in a complex scheme of rhyme and meter
I guess I meant more of a professional recognition. I still want to use Ode but the definition tells otherwise. Maybe a Ode that is not a poem. Getting back to what I was trying to say originally this is becoming like an Ode to the instructor. Similar to a public speech when people say "Thank you .. for making this all possible " .. all these stitches in different colors.

May 7th, 2008
I killed the baby sweater yesterday. I am not sure what was wrong with me. I was not even knitting. I think I did 2 rows the entire time and the instructor had to redo them. I went too loosely after she picked up the stitches and I am not happy with that at all. It's messy and it's bothering me this morning.

Some notes on the sweater. After you pick up stitches you should have 29 and 29 on each half. I had 62 so I had to decrease 3 on one side and 1 on the other by knitting 2 together. Then you do something like knit 9, increase on 2 by knitting through the loop twice, then knit 22, increase on 2 and then you should have 9 left. Then for 3 1/2 inches you keep increasing where your stitch markers are except I cannot remember why I have 4 of them instead of the 2 like I described above since I paid no attention to what I was doing. I have to remember to return her stitch markers. I have a total of 5 so far that I took.

I've lost my ability to take good photographs. Note the line above the stitch holders that separates the ribbing. That's what I do not like. It's too loose and it could have been avoided 100%.

10:21 PM
I am very upset about the loose stitches. Especially because going forward it's perfect once again. I really should have gone home last night. The entire night was like silly and useless. I really hope there are no setbacks or consequences. Only I know what that means.

I went to check on myself at dreaded ravelry.com I am 2504th .. what do you know. I thought with this award winning blog I should be moved toward the beginning of the line immediately but no such thing happened. I love this hood. It looks like Orco from He-Man. Well it looks like any ghost really .. anything with no face included. I just noticed that all the activity is here this week. I have completely forgotten the shrug and the pretty blue bubble sweater.

May 8th, 2008
Today is the day of Eli's Bris .. anyway. I finally understood why I am increasing and why by knitting through the same loop twice. We did this on the mitten. It forms a seam. That's all it is. Now I know what I am doing. Otherwise I could not tell if I was making a mistake on the increase other then counting stitches.

6:06 AM
Not sure if I messed up. I have 15,17, middle, 17, 15. That would mean I'd have to make a mistake bilaterally. Am I really capable of something like that at this point? I will know on Saturday.

I finally paused long enough to take a photo. This is the seam I was talking about. I had another photo but it's dark outside today because of the rainy morning so the photo a little dark. This thing looks like a small tent. There is my imperfect ribbing in the center that I did on Tuesday and the loose pickup area I don't even want to talk about anymore.

I am going to post the washing instructions for Jen while I still have the tag.

Care Instructions verbatim .. with silly commentary from sweater creator and producer:
This yarn is shrink resistant. Turn sweater inside out and machine wash on gentle cycle in cold water (that should get all the stains out .. not) Do not bleach. Lay flat in shade (I like this in shade) to dry. Sounds like the yarn is on vacation.

I wrote "creator and producer" to be funny but I really am that. I looked up "producer" and the definition is noun: someone who finds financing for and supervises the making and presentation of a show (play or film or program or similar work) and I so did finance the making of this sweater!! Well I guess I am a co-producer .. the instructor is the other "co" .. She is actully a really big "co" I am just an apprentice at this point.

11:14 PM
I am confused. This morning I had 15, 17 and now I have 21 and 31 unless I miscounted and I am not counting over. How did this happen? I totally do not get it. Wait .. I do get it but I never would have thought it would happen like that. Going to sleep.

May 9th, 2008

What I was trying to say last night was that the reason 15 went to 21 is because I increased on one side 6 times and the reason 17 went to 31 is because I increased on 2 sides 6 times .. and I am still missing 2 .. where did I get the 2?! Again I do not think I can make mistakes bilaterally but then I do not think I counted the other side. I am going to have to go home and count. Sigh .. I hate math related crafts. Uggh ..

6:21 PM

Well I made a mistake as anticipated. I forgot to increase someplace. I got the 2 because if I did everything correctly it would have been 15+7 which is 22 and 17+7+7=31 but I had 21 so this is why I had 2 as extra. Coincidentally I am back to 15, 17 from 31, 21. I left a message for the knitting teacher but I always do whatever I want after the message anyhow. I am impressed with myself. I knew where to put the stitch markers after I undid 2 inches. Well the 15, 17 helped of course. I am also impressed that I was able to find the mistake in the 1st place. Should I mention that it is 1:03 AM. The knitting teacher did not call me back. I am forever worried that she is mad at me and that will affect her creativity when it comes to me. I hope she is not upset with me for Tuesday. I am back up to the 21, probably 29 so the next row should be 22 and 31 hopefully.

May 11th, 2008
I have to do 6 inches of stockinette. Boring. The instructor would not let me keep her stitch holders today .. after a brief verbal exchange she unwillingly let me keep one. The stockinette is not even and you can see little bumps where the stitches are different in size. I hate gauge. This sweater is totally boring. The hood was the most interesting thing. If Eli was Russian I would put Cheburashka on it but since he is not .. I don't know who to put on.

11:21 PM ...

I am actually past the point on the above photo. I bound off the bottom. I did it in pattern and I think I did the hood by knitting. I am not sure if I am correct since the bottom is loose and maybe if I knitted as I bound off then it would be more shrunk. I had to change the photo background because the sweater no longer fits comfortably in the chair. By comfortably I mean that the chair back and other parts end up in the photo along with the sweater. I am not even with this sweater. You can see it in the photo below. I am not sure how to achieve perfect tension. Somewhat annoyed at this but not hopeless about it.

Uneveness ..

I learned on Saturday that to bind off the yarn has to be 3 times as much as the row you are binding off on. The instructor also said you can use 2 balls of yarn to originally cast on but I did not get that one. Maybe I will if I think about it.

May 12th, 2008
It is absurdly windy today.

11:34 PM
I got into ravelry. My user name is 'Braided' This is so I do not forget tomorrow.

This is Cheburashka by the way ..

This photo is a little unflattering but you get the general idea. The movie was made the year I was born. Now I am listening to Голубой Вагон on youtube instead of going to sleep. I had a conversation today about the sweater with my brother's wife Anna. The conversation was packed with knitting terminology.

4:41 PM
I think I figured out the sweater body. After the ribbing we split it up into 9,11,18,11 and 9. 9+9=18 and the total was 29 0n each side. Except I cannot rem if we started increasing when we split them up. We prob did ..

May 14, 2008
Almost done. Except I am knitting instead of the gym.

Someone not naming any names was painting buttons with orange nail polish last night and a little drop got on my baby sweater!! I scrubbed it off but there is still a tiny bit left. It's like on the side of one braid. I just unbound a sleeve and redid it for the 1st time. It's not so bad undoing the bound of edge. I just did not know how to handle it before. I bound off a little too loose I thought and redid it.
I still am not 100% sure how to pick up stitches. I completely forgot that you can pick up with a new yarn ball by just taking a piece of yarn a little from the edge and pulling the loop through. After briefly staring at the ball of yarn I promptly handed it over to my instructor just in case. She had to pick up a whole 2 stitches at the beginning and end of the 1st sleeve row. She asked me to get a zipper that did not separate and it took me 10 minutes to figure out what that was. I was like don't they all separate, isn't that why you have zippers so you can unzip them and remove yourself etc?
I signed the instructor up for ravelry. She seemed like someone who may appreciate that site. She was looking at something called 'noro' I am not even sure what that is yet.

4:03 PM
Noro is Eisaku Noro which is a Japanese yarn company who refuses to make solid colors. It's the most popular yarn on ravelry.com I think my favorite noro is Silk Mountain which is 65% wool, 25% silk and 10% kid mohair. It reminds me of Aron's coat from this weekend. I forget which brand he had on.

10:56 PM
I am tired. I did the cuff of the sleeve, then undid it because I thought it was uneven. I then decreased on the right side and was supposed to decrease on the wrong so undid again. I am finally done with the knitting part. Onward to the embroidery and zippers. The sweater is adorable .. as usual. My instructor will not have it any other way. Everything she participates in is always beautiful or adorable depending on the nature of the item. I am feeling quite complimentary this fine evening.

11:35 PM
I don't love ravelry .. no one is looking at what I made.

May 17th, 2008
I sewed the sleeves today and I am ! crocheting the edge of the sweater back so I can put in the zipper. I finally was shown how to start sewing .. something I have been indirectly asking since I found out there was sewing involved in general and finally today was granted an answer. I don't know what caused that to happen.. really but I am glad it did. Up until now I was not able to sew on my own because I could never start. To start on the sleeve make sure your last binding off stitch does not look like a large disaster, then go under the seam on the opposite side of the opposite edge and then into the braid from the top on the side that you started with. I also want to say that you sew ribbing differently from the body for this sweater. I do not know if you treat all ribbing differently when you sew or just the K1, P1 but I hope some day to find out. On the ribbing we went underneath the purl after the seam I think and on the body we went underneath the bar in the braid as I refer to it. Did you see the "! crochet". I finally know what that is. I kept overhearing the instructor saying that she had to crochet the edge for something and I kept thinking on top of all this knitting and sewing there is also crochet. I did not even want to know about it but it's totally not bad. I think I get it better then the sewing.
The instructor sewed the armpits for me. I love it when she is nice to me. My entire issue with sewing is after you spent so much time knitting and trying to make everything look beautiful you damage it by sewing. There are also two parts to the damage, aesthetic and physical as in holes which my least favorite and heavily dreaded. I was going to do some photos of the sweater but I am not in a photographic mood at the moment. I have to go find a zipper. The instructor found me one but it's dark blue .. but it's better then the black metal one they were trying to sell me the other day at this fabric store I went to.

4:30 PM
I got the zipper. It's almost almost the right color. Hopefully it's expensive enough to last. It was only $2.00 The store I went to had Noro so I got to pet it. It's good. I want it. I love color especially when all of it is in one yarn. But first I have to finish everything else I am working on and not working on. I understood crochet today and sewing all because the instructor showed me how to pick up stitches a few weeks ago. I did not actually pick them up but for the first time I saw that you do not just go anywhere to pick up stitches .. you have to go under the edge which is like going under the two parts of the braid. With crochet it's the same .. you go under the seam and with sewing you go in-between then seam. In conclusion the seam has become easier to identify because I saw it being accessed in three different ways. I have the same problem with knitting as I did identifying cells in my Biology class in college. If I saw one type of cell from one organism and then the same type of cell from another organism I had trouble identifying them although there were form the same pardon me small intestine and both had all the characteristics of pardon me once again .. same organ. It's the same thing with knitting. If the loop does not look perfectly perfect I think it's two loops, or half a loop .. or I think I am on the border on loop #2 but it's really the middle of loop #1 .. etc. This is why I still cannot sew.
I had to connect the yarn again today. The instructor did it for me at the store but then I came home and realized I had a little of the old yarn left so I pulled out what she did and did it myself. Again .. you have to make sure there is no break in the braid looking seam which is the same idea she showed me for the sleeve today. There. I have this all noted so I do not forget unless of course Google goes bankrupt.

5:03 PM
I have to say even if I never knit again it was all more then worth it because I am now an expert at sewing on buttons. I must make a confession that initially the previous sentence read expert button sewer and something prompted me to check the dictionary about 45 minutes after I wrote it. This reminds me of the time my brother used a spell check on my Thesis in Nursing School and conveniently changed all the perineum(s) to perennials. I will also tell you that he changed all the bowel movements .. and there were quite a few in there .. to bowl movements which provided a few entertaining moments for my instructor Maria who requested an overview of the rough draft before I went ahead with the final.
Getting back to buttons my instructor showed me how to double the thread to make it like a forple and I just sewed a button onto this knitted sweater I have .. which I really should throw away but that's a whole other story. I have to say the buttons on my Project #4 are not as good as the one I did today. This one will most likely outlive the sweater. I really liked this Free People sweater but it was made out of synthetic crap and after a medium number of wear looks accordingly.
I can crochet edges if I need to put zippers in. Who would have thought .. Until today I thought it was a big nightmare. I should really try more new things in general. They may all be like crochet. The only thing is I have to leave the house now and I am worried I will forget what to do when I come back.

May 18th, 2008
8:04 AM
I am having a bad crochet day or a loose tension day. Which ever you prefer. I am just realizing how thought through this tiny piece of knitted material is. The instructor told me that she wanted the sides tight in the very beginning and I was like yes .. whatever. How is this night different from any other? Only now when I am practically done I understand that the sides had to be tight so you could crochet them otherwise there would be holes. Back then I did not know what crochet was so I could not really comprehend what was being said to me.

8:39 AM
Left my instructor a message to look for balloon string. I hope she will. Otherwise I am going to have green balloons on a blue sweater which is probably beautiful since she came up with it but I wanted more colors. I like that word .. comprehension. To grasp with the mind .. that reminds me .. I need to go look for mine.

7:10 PM
I am over-crocheting and the sweater is suffering because of it. I don't even know how many times I re-crocheted the right side. I cannot remember if I have to skip a space or go into each space. I finally stopped on skipping a space because when I did every one space it came out very loose. I don't know what's wrong with me. It's like I get it when I do not analyze it. The split second I begin to think about what I am doing I forget what to do. I am this way with the piano. I can remember certain melodies from my childhood but the minute I think about what I am doing I can no longer play anything. I don't know if this makes any sense even to me because it's not as if I think about what to do next .. it's just paying attention to what you are doing. So if I do not pay attention I do very well.

May 19th, 2008
I just looked at my crochet job. No comment. I cannot tell if it's correct or incorrect which is disturbing.

May 20th, 2008 10:19 PM
I sewed the zipper all evening. I sewed it once and then again and again and again and again. You get the idea. It is still not done. The instructor was tired today. Seeing her like that made me think about her age and how this job at times may be hard on her. She did not even have the energy to be the real pain that I've known her to be and was just a slight one. She kept saying how she hates zippers and then finally was like .. I can do it for you but probably not before Monday. There was another woman there who kept talking about health problems. I really wanted her to just disappear so I could have some quiet time alone with my zipper but she remained in her seat for the duration of the evening. I asked the instructor why all of her scissors were completely dulled and she said that she cuts wire with them. This is like what not to do with scissors.

I do not even want to look at the sweater. It was so cute and I am totally killing it with the zipper and the uneven crochet job.

Grump ..

This thread is not even blue .. it's gray. I looked at the zipper this morning and it does not look as bad as last night but still does not look great. I only surface looked. I did not pull back the knitting to look at the part where the zipper meets the sweater. I hope this whole thing works. The zipper, the square balloons that will magically turn into circles on Saturday etc.
Let me write this down before I forget ... Instructions for square Balloons:
Cast on 14 stitches on 3" for each one and knit for 1.5 inches in stitch does not matter which one.

10:51 PM
I hate zipper. I just got the thread stuck and I cannot undo this loose part that I did. I am going to bed and I hope when I wake up I am going to be able to pry this thread loose.

May 23rd, 2008

8:54 PM
I do not have the words to express how I feel right now. The zipper is impossible. I am impossible. From now on I just want to make scarves. I am optimistic despite the previous two sentences but beyond worn out. Really .. I am exactly in this specified and specific condition.

10:19 PM
My instructor had an episode last week where she sort of passed out in class. I completely understand now. I am about to have a stroke myself and not as in a verbal expression. I cannot even describe what has been happening for the past 2-3 hours of the zipper process. I am sitting here in shock .. seriously. I think that sewing is fun if one has never knitted before. Once you are exposed to knitting then sewing becomes a million times worse in comparison. This is how I feel anyhow. I am completely incapacitated and !! I am still not done. I think I am going to go knit some yellow square balloons. Don't ask.

10:36 PM
I cannot knit either. I did 2 1/8th balloon squares in yellow.

May 25th, 2008
I kind of killed the sweater with the balloons. I cannot seem to figure out how to put them on. I was a pain in the ass at the store yesterday. Something I have not done in quite a while. I need a new term for pain in the ass. It's very un-adult sounding. The instructor wanted nothing to do with them and this type of behavior always upsets me because it's completely unfounded. She was just not in a balloon mood, Anna mood, sewing mood or maybe good mood. That's how it is with her. The balloons are improperly sewn on and look uneven and over puffy. They are sewn in too tight. There is even a small hole in one place. I could not figure out how to sew them on yesterday at all. Today I figured out how to do it but only the top parts. Sideways cannot figure out for the life of me. I am thinking about coming in Monday. I have some photos of the balloons before they were tortured. I will put them up later.

OK. I put them up now.

10:20 PM
I hope one day I will learn how to sew knitting items. I am am doing such a bad job with these balloons. I cannot figure out how to sew anything other then stockinette to stockinette. If the braids are parallel I cannot sew at all. I am looking at the above ribbing job and I realized I completely forgot about the tension issue I am so overwhelmed with the sewing. The whole thing is so ridiculous. It's tiny yellow patches and they have given me so much grief. I feel like I just want to take them off. They look terrible. I cannot decide if I want to go knitting tomorrow or stay here. I feel like the instructor will be completely annoyed with me and the sweater and it will be a completely nonproductive experience. It's funny but I just washed my jeans and was looking at the way the seams were done. I am all about seams now. Not sure if I said this before but I find myself imitating the instructor's movements. I seem to be able to remember them. One is when I saw her fix dropped stitches without the crochet and the other is her sewing speed and precision. I don't know how I can remember that. I kind of always thought you followed dance motions but knitting related motions that's just plain odd. They stay with me.

Some amateur and confusing notes on zippers and finishing ...


Things have to match bilaterally and everything should appear uninterrupted. For instance when sewing the front to the back the sewing should not be seen. It should look like the back and the front were knitted on circular needles and no sewing ever took place there. The edges of bottoms, sleeves etc should look like a continuous braid. It should not have visible stitches connecting one edge to the other. Sewing is done by going into the place you came out of from what I understand so far. This allows you to make a continuous braid. For example with these balloons, if I did this correctly, the balloon would look like it was knitted into the sweater. So in the case of sewing yellow balloon to blue sweater you go in the sweater, under one braid in the balloon, in the sweater in the same place you went in before and under one braid of the sweater. At this point you should see a yellow stockinette stitch going into the blue stockinette stitch. I am not describing this appropriately.

Weaving in should go in opposite directions, if there is a seam use the seam and do not split the yarn, if there is no seam then split the yarn.
When doing the zipper stretch the yarn if the zipper is longer then the object to fit the zipper. Make sure the edges of the end of the zipper are folded underneath, they should not superimpose on the zipper, they should not stick out on the other side and the yarn hanging on the ends of the piece should be sewn under the zipper (as in I did not do this for this sweater above and have no idea what to do with it now)
When you sew in the zipper make sure the edges are even. The right edge on this sweater is is bigger then my left but I let it be. Both edges should completely cover the zipper.
When sewing the stitch should be in the middle, stay away from the edge of the zipper otherwise it will not open well.
You start the sewing by doing one vertical stitch with which you grab the bottom of the sweater.
Make sure the ribbing and any other pattern matches. Close the zipper in order to be able to see that.
The edges have to be sewn so they do not flap around but I did it weird.
I described how to start sewing in this blog. I cannot understand what I wrote but the moral of the story is you do not just start anyway you want. There is a specific way and if you do it correctly the edge structure is uninterrupted.
9. You can stick the needle under several places at once and then pull the yarn through. Also if the yarn is too short you can stick the needle under several loops and then thread it with the yarn and then pull. Also to thread the needle you can fold the yarn in half so it's easier. When sewing with thread the instructor doubles it and then threads the needle so you end up with double string. I just realized why she does this. Because this way you can adjust the thread. I was taught differently. Light bulb.

May 26th, 2008
Done. I did the last balloon more or less correctly. The instructor was good today. She showed me how to sew .. again. Apparently you do not have to go under the braid. You can go wherever as long as you go in the same place you came out of. Kind of works for everyday life as well. I am happy even though someone in the store mistook the balloons for fish!!


... and back

I told the instructor today that this sweater will not live through the 1st wash but we'll see. This makes me happy. It's such a cute light blue item with splotches of yellow and a very home made zipper job full of imperfections. Check out the zipper bumps above and the uneven edge. Actually the edge may be even in real life but because one edge is bigger then the other it looks uneven in the photo.

2:27 PM
I can totally see how those look like fish. It took me all of 3 hours to realize that the tie end can also serve as a lovely tale on the fish. These balloons are so funny. They are so awful and cute at the same time.

9:55 PM
Each time I look at the sweater it looks more adorable. Sometimes I love my knitting teacher for showing me how to do all this and sometimes I want to kill her. I wish things were more consistent but it's never like that with the creative types. I am the same way. By the way this is the 1st item we did not iron. Well the gloves and hat we did not either.

June 1st, 2008

I am not sure how Eli feels about this sweater. He was not as excited as I was and kept wiggling for the digital camera so this photo is fuzzy. His underwear is showing a little. Anyhow I think he looks great. The sleeves were a little too long and the body .. well it's sort of tight but the hood came out just perfect. The rest he can grow into.

June 11th, 2008

PS ..
I came into the store yesterday and everyone was making this baby sweater. Someone even managed to make a sweater and a matching blanket. The knitting instructor did the finishing so her balloons look spectacuar and mine .. well no comment. My zipper also looks pretty bad compared to hers. I used a double thread to hold it in place and she a single and hers is practically invisible while mine is like very blantant. Had I seen all this before I would have had something to aim for but I had not. The only things that did look better were the edges. I don't know if the person crochet them or not but they looked pretty bumpy. I did not like the blanket so much. It has some kind of lines on it that did not look so great. I almost feel like the instructor is not into baby stuff for some reason. I can understand her not being into mittens, hats and socks .. but baby stuff I expected her to put more thought into. Maybe she did and I just did not notice since there is very little I notice lately.

Regrets a.k.a if there was a second chance ..

1. I would not sew the zipper with a double thread .. it looks gross
2. I would make sure the zipper was not hanging past the sweater
3. .. the balloons were round .. and maybe I would have knitted them like they were supposed to be .. round. Actually I would have done a design I wanted.
4. The neck to body part .. the 1st row I would have knitted firmer .. since I was knitting pick-up stitches.
5. I would have asked Jen what she wanted ..

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Project #7

April 9th, 2008
I am playing around with Masha's yarn Berocco Suede Tri-Color.

April 13, 2008

Malabrigo Worsted Merino Yarn

I bet 173 is the dye number. I wonder if that means the 173rd dye attempt? Another camera resistant yarn or should I say the camera is yarn resistant. Camera refuses to pick up the correct color tones. Suede Tri Color will have to wait. Apparently someone thinks it catches which is probably true but it I personally I would not write it off for that reason. Everything catches if there there is something to be caught on. It's a bunch of loops.
I started a very small Malabrigo shrug .. possibly even one of the two identical shrugs depending on what the future holds. Did I mention that I started it at 1 am in the morning? I thought that was an interesting factoid. In any case I just had to undo 4 rows because I noticed a large hole in the side and that upset me. Now I think I am done for the day. Exhausted. Should really stop knitting at odd hours.

8:19 PM
The back is too small as always. I would like to know what I need to do once I notice it's too small. I do not want to knit looser so I bet I can increase or something. I need to ask. I think I am at 7 inches back. Looks very nice. I like it. I want it but the way it is now it will never fit my back or Masha's back.

April 15th, 2008
I hope I do not have to undo 11 inches. I will be unhappy. I am already unhappy thinking about it.
10:21 PM
I did not have to undo anything. I did the increase on poor shrug in a way that was not marked by use of any reason but we left it as is. If this occurred at some Russian knitting school I would have gotten a large F for something like that. I also made the wrong side the right side. What's interesting is I am fully aware of right and wrong side and made sure I was on the right side which turned out to be the wrong side. I am inclined to think it was because of the 1 am situation. On that same note I just knitted an inch and 1/2 of sleeve wrong and had to undo that. I want to kill her .. figuratively speaking of course since she happens to be one of my current favorite human beings. She wrote down P1 and then changed P1 to P2. Instead of crossing out the 1 and writing the correct information someplace nearby she tried to change 1 to a 2. Actually I think she did cross the 1 out and then ink sculpted in into a 2. The result of course I immediately mistook for a K1. I happily did K1, P1 and when I got to the 1 1/2 inch it said 'decrease P2 to P1' and as you already guessed I did not have a P2.
I learned why the yarn has to be loose when it's rolled up in a ball. It is to allow air to circulate through .. otherwise if there is no air circulation the yarn tends to do weird things .. like start to smell. The instructor said I could use the 'other' Suede Tri-Color catchy yarn to make a turtleneck. She said I need 7 balls so I have to come up with 5 more. I am glad she does not mind doing it. I was expecting a fair amount of resistance and got none.
11:14 PM
I am going to bed. I redid the sleeve except I casted on a 6 mm and the was supposed to knit on the 5mm so I continued to knit on one 6mm and one 5mm. I need to leave this alone at this time.

April 16th, 2008
I cannot figure out the decrease on the sleeve beginning. I thought it was that weird one we did on my blue sweater and found the instructions I wrote in this blog and it's not that one. The one she wrote for me to do does not look right either when I do it.

April 17th, 2008
I broke down and left the knitting lady a message. I am sure she will call me back never because it's 70 degrees outside and my sleeve decrease is after like the last thing on her mind. Maybe off her mind is more accurate.

April 22, 2008
I don't even remember how many times I redid the sleeve cuffs. I did not like the way they looked, I forgot to decrease every other one, I forgot to increase 1, I increased in the way instructor did not like .. and I did not like, I increased twice in between one loop and made a hole in each cuff. I am back to garter and I think I am supposed to purl back but not sure. Tired.

The increase ..

April 24th, 2008
Some things learned ..
Pinning the excess yarn from the cast on to the fabric really is a good idea. I was told this back in September and only got around to it yesterday. I cannot tell you how many times and on how many occasions this advice was repeated to me.
When you increase on the right side the way you can tell is there is a bar underneath the braid. Since I am trying to do a loose knit today I can actually see the bar .. I think before it appeared as a shriveled up little dot of yarn and all I could see was the extra braid. Sometimes I could not see the extra braid.
You can increase or decrease on any side as long as it looks good. We did 5 rows of garter, decreased on the right side and it did not look good so we did 6 rows of garter and then without waiting for instructions I increased on the wrong side and then knitted on the right etc.
I feel like I am not writing the way I should .. like I have stuff to say and saying it poorly because am totally uninspired. There are some kind of yellow jacketed items that got in between my screen widows and it's only a matter of time before they make it inside. I am scared because once they are inside they will be so mad that they will not act rationally .. and since bugs never do anyway I am very concerned. I stepped on a yellow jacket lounging by the side of the river when I was 3 years old and have not forgotten the experience. I remember I was really taken aback by the pain capasity.

The sleeve cuffs .. wrong side

I have finally started paying attention to the wrong side right side situation. It's like a good reference point otherwise the instructor has no idea what you are talking about especially when you are dealing with increases. I also started looking at measurements while you work .. more likely I just realized that they actually exist and are important. My biggest problem right now is unregulated tension and I feel like it's totally unresolvable. I wonder if the knitting instructor has problems in this area. I will ask her if she calls me back. I tried to ask her before and she was like 'I can do any tension .. ' She is one to always point out the obvious. I was like hopefully if anyone can you can .. so can I but it's usually not the one I want. I have a large knot in the sleeve where I did not pin the yarn to the fabric. Did I mention I only pinned the yarn on ONE sleeve.

April 25th, 2008
I am sick. I do not like it. I am making sleeves but I am sure they are way too tight. I cannot tell but the concern is looming whatever that means. The sleeves are about 9-10 inches. I was told that you never increase twice in between two loops unless you are making button holes which is a continuation from "You should never do that.. " from the instructor. Now I can put those two together. "You should never do that unless you are trying to do button holes." I pinned the yarn to another sleeve with a stitch marker. Apparently I only had one pin in the house. Now only the main or primary yarns will tangle amongst themselves.

The correct increase ..

I am absolutely crazy but I undid the sleeves once again and redid the increase. The above is the correct way. Start on the wrong side and do 6 rows of garter, then purl back and increase on the right side.
In this one I increased on the wrong side after I think 6 rows of garter and then knitted on the right side. Logically this makes no sense at all. It does not look bad but I think the instructor's looks better. For a moment I am feeling like I am writing a knitting novel.

This is how I roll the yarn ..

10:27 PM
I am at about 14 inches on the sleeves. I went 21-41-43-45-47-49-51-53 .. and I am missing one loop starting with 41. She said she did not care where I increased but I think she meant somewhere in the beginning so the sleeve is wider. I never know what she means. It's like I stopped understanding what I am doing. I did the increase on the back wrong, I did the increase on the sleeve cuff wrong and I did not increase correctly on the sleeve. There seems to be a commonality here .. i-n-c-r-e-a-s-e ..
I cannot remember if I mentioned this but once the instructor told me that she and one of her clients made a beautiful silk skirt. She said she had the skirt in her store and she could not stop looking at it. She looked at it every chance she got. So I told her I am that way with everything I make .. regardless of what it looks like. I wonder if I will ever get a chance to see that skirt. I kind of would like to know what the instructor considers exceptionally beautiful. I wonder why they picked something like a skirt .. I'd probably make a dress if I had an imagination.
I separated the sleeves so I could work on them separately but thinking I should put them back on one needle. Do I really want one to be shorter then then other .. and the other perhaps wider then the 1st?
I just read above how I made the wrong side the right side above and it seems almost unbelievable. Right now it just seems perplexing to me that I would do something like that because right now I have the wrong and the right side permanently figured out and a week ago I barely made notice of it. Weird.

April 26th, 2008

Here's a photo of my unmanicured thumb, yarn and sleeve. I was trying to see if it fits so I stitchholdered it in place. I was trapped by the garter and barely got out of it. Poor Maria .. I hope all of this works out. I really do not want to redo 17 inches of sleeve. I can go in today to verify but I am sick and cannot handle any bad news regarding tourniquet sleeves.

5:21 PM
I am doing nothing. I know this sleeve is not going to fit anyone named Maria or Anna ..

9:39 PM
I spoke to Maria today. She said the sleeve can be anything, incorrect, short etc but it must fit the arm through. I have 2 criteria so far .. sleeve must fit .. button must be round. The thumb is getting manicured tomorrow at 10:30 AM.

April 29, 2008
I have to remember to sew the garter part of the sleeve without taking anything in. Also I have to ask her how to sew .. she said to go under 1 bar. I have to remember to count the stitches on the back. I think it was 64-65. Not sure. I kept not paying attention. Maybe 64 ..

May 1st, 2008
I feel like today is some national holiday. I think the purl side people tend to knit smaller so I think she said to do purl on the larger needle and knit on the smaller for the other sweater. I cannot figure out the decreases for sleeves and back. I slipped the 1st stitch on the sleeves and in order to decrease knitted on the knit side and purled on the purl side. The results are not so great and I cannot seem to figure out why. For the back I did not slip the 1st stitch and that does not look so great either. I cannot remember if I should slip or not but I already started not slipping so I am going along in that fashion. Maybe on the next sweater. I feel like Maria's sweater is still going through all the experiments.

3:05 AM
OK. I undid the decrease. I am never supposed to knit the 1st stitch on the back or front if I want to stay true to my heritage of course. If anything I can do it on the sleeves maybe because I am doing a decrease on each row. I am not sure about that. I am going back to bed. I do not feel like doing 10 rows all over again.

May 1st, 2008
I am not sure why I insist on 1st I think 1 would get the point across. I kept thinking about my back that it seemed small although I looked at the instructions about a million times. Somehow decrease 5 at the beginning of the next 2 rows and then decrese one at each end every other row did not seem like enough. Of course 1 million and 1st time looking at the same excat instructions revealed that it should measure 7 1/2 inches! I am not sure what to attribute that to..

May 2nd, 2008
Progress so far ..

Partial back and sleeves. That orange thing is there for something that has to do with the front chart. Hopefully will find out Saturday. I still cannot figure out if it's on 64th or 65th row.

Shrug "The Sculpture"

May 3rd, 2008
Today was like a big day. I got a chart for the shrug. I never had a chart before so if I feel like it I will take a picture and post it here. I am sure I am going to make the biggest mess on earth if I attempt it without supervision but if I have time before I see the instructor again I certainly will. I already tried casting on extra stitches today .. like I just made them up and she was like .. why did you just do that? The chart is crazy. You have to increase on one side and cast new stitches on the other side. I can barely remember to increase on the sleeves every specified interval because you have to increase on both sides and there are 2 sleeves. This chart thing is like 10 times worse. I wonder if she ideally wanted me to do 2 sides at once for ultimate confusion.

The Chart

May 4th, 2008
12:51 AM
I tried the increase. I think I got it right. I don't know if I knit the 1st stitch or slip the 1st. I just realized that my knitting book assumes that people hold the yarn in the right hand and I do not. This renders the book almost completely useless. I keep getting knots on the edges and I do not like that at all. I need to do something about those knots on the side.

9:21 PM
I did the stitch addition on the shrug. At first I thought it looked terrible but then I got used to it. I can almost see a pattern in the terribleness. I do not really have a good photo but the increase is where you see the waves. I am going to stop because this side needs a button hole and I am not sure where and what size. I do not feel like calling the instructor. This can wait until Tuesday.

May 5th, 2008
I don't like the above photo. It's not clear. My mom read #7 and #8 and said they were too technical. Interesting because I think I lament too much. I was not sure whether to note this in #7 or #8 but my mom loved the colors of Maria's shrug so this post is going here. I am trying to get into ravelry.com I don't know why. I cannot tell what it is even. I just checked where I was in line and I am a promising 2504th!! in line. Apparently they have a half sever and if they let everyone in at once that will put an end to the site. Ravelry is not even in the dictionary. The closest I could get was these below for raveler:
noun: French composer and exponent of Impressionsim (1875-1937) hmm .. next
noun: a row of unravelled stitches .. this looks decent
verb: tangle or complicate (Example: "A ravelled story") .. so does this
verb: disentangle (Example: "Can you unravel the mystery?") .. this is OK also
name: A surname (very rare: popularity rank in the U.S.: #54735) .. this surname is even less popular then I am on the ravelry.com site
I am perplexed. Maybe the 1/3 glass of wine I had is contributing to my overall state of being. My brother just told me it's raveler+revelry=ravelry or ravelry. I'd say that's interesting.

May 26th, 2008
10:27 PM
OK. I am going back to this one. I am dreading the chart plus I remember nothing especially how to make new stitches. I am glad I have this blog so I can remember where I was and what it is that I was doing.

May 27th, 2008
I am taking a little piece of shrug on the plane with me. Not because I cannot live without knitting but because I am going to have a heart attack on the plane and knitting seems to have a calming affect. Speaking of calming effect I need to go to bed. I am totally tired. I wonder how long it would take me to complete this and sew. I am looking forward to sewing so I can practice. I may try to be brave and do the rim on the shrug by myself. I think the instructor mentioned something about picking up stitches.

June 2nd, 2008
Summer. I am back from Michigan. I tried knitting on the plane but I was so nervous that my knitting tension was beyond tight and then when I was about to do some neck shaping not really knowing 100% what that is I realized I am missing a stitch. When I got to my friend's house I undid everything and started over. I have to say stewardesses are much more receptive to knitting needles then electronic devices. I will go as far as to say that the one who asked my seat neighbor to turn off his iPod looked at my Malabrigo patch with curiosity. The best part was because I was so stressed out about flying I simply did not have any emotions left for being upset about the stitch I missed which ordinarily would have been a huge deal at home and would have required one of my knitting instructor phone calls.

June 5th, 2008
I am not sure what to do on the front piece. I increased in the not so right place as usual and now I am not sure how to decrease. Am I ever going to get this stuff?

June 8th, 2008
I just got home and feel like this is the most interesting site around for me at the moment. I have resumed the shrug. I finally completed front #1 and started front #2. I don't really get front #2 but I will later I am sure. Before I forget we did 2 extra rows on the top as in I still increased 2 rows before the top and then did 2 extra rows on top of that plus I had to do extra rows after I got to 14 and did not decrease. The above does not make sense even to me but I have to put this reminded someplace where I can find it later and this is the only place in the entire world. The instructor asked me if I thought that the side matched the back in length and I blew it but the fact that she asked my opinion means she thinks I have measuring potential. It's summer .. not officially but weather wise you need an A/C.

8:43 AM
I undid everything again although I promised to myself and the instructor to cut down on this behavior. I am knitting very tightly once again. When I was in MI I had to have what seemed to be the perfect tension. I am starting to think that tension has something to do with your overall chronic state of being and is not necessarily tied to your mood at the moment although that does contribute to the overall effect. I just added a billion adjectives to the above sentence and am still not sure I got the effect that I wanted. It's hot weather wise. I don't like the humidity.

11:28 PM
I should stop putting down the time. It's an embarrassing confirmation of the name of this establishment. I am knitting. Side #2 is not as nice as #1. I am not sure why. For some reason I am no longer concerned about not knowing what to do. I can figure it out .. and if I am wrong I will corrected. It's not such a big deal. It never should have been but it took almost a year to get to this state of mind. I have to count the stitches on side # left and I do not feel like it. I am kind of hoping to finish this by July 5th but not sure if I can. There is still the button situation and the sewing which takes forever.

11:54 PM
I am reading the knitting tiny book G gave me and I swear I have said or thought most of the book at one point or another. Of course everything is totally lost on my instructor when I tell her stuff like I had to relearn how to count and she looks at me like I am exhibiting signs of insanity.

June 10th, 2008
I put in my 7.5 hours at the knitting shop today. Have not done that in a while. It was like 99+ in there. I did the 2nd half of the front and connected the back and the 2 fronts. The instructor did the button hole for me and picked up stitches for the rim for lack of a better word. I saw some yarn today at the store, white with color that looked like rope. I want to make something out of it. The instructor said she was going to do something with it but then said if she does not I can. Hopefully I will rem that I liked it. Tired. It's almost tomorrow.

June 11th, 2008
I was just thinking that even if I am not able to work with the knitting instructor I think I am OK on my own. She has tought me a lot and I learned a little less then she tought as it always happens but enough to get by in the knitting world on my own.

11:14 PM
I was just thinking that I cannot believe I let her do the button hole. Now I am forever dependent on her for large button holes until further notice. I have absolutely no idea what I did. I bound off on the bottom, she did the top and then I could not do the next row.. she had to do it although she said to follow in pattern I failed to see one.

June 12th, 2008
I just looked at the button hole and it's so cute. I like it. It's the only one in the entire sweater.

June 13th, 2008
I have to go home and knit 9-10-11-12-13 of the front and do the sleeves. Hopefully I am in the right mood because I really would like to do that by tomorrow.

June 14th, 2008
I made a million mistakes at the knitting store today. I think the instructor was telling me to do things which I did but then she said that they were incorrect and they were. I am not sure which one of us is wrong .. I want to say that it is me but something in me is telling me it was her. She said to increase every 4th so I thought it was stitch but she meant every 3rd braid so I did the 2 increase sections totally wrong and then I purled back when I was supposed to knit the ones I increased going back. So in summation we did every 3rd braid increase, went back, then every 2nd braid increase, went back then increased on the remaining braid that was left. I feel like if she gave me an overview at the beginning I would not have been so confused, but she never does probably because she does not know what she is up to herself. I suspect she was in one of her 'moods' today and it was not a good one. She even went as far as to say that the mistakes I made has to do with understanding what I am doing which is like the ultimate insult. So I guess when you increase on the back way you knit them ? I am not sure why. Maybe because your increase looks like a purl. I should know that. I saw that when I started noticing how increases look like. It's a parallel bar and the next stitch above is a braid so the opposite side is probably a braid ? and this is why it has to be knitted ? Anyway all I have to do is bind off and sew. Hopefully I am not going to be totally insane and/or exhausted on Tuesday and will do a good job.

June 15th, 2008
8:20 AM
I am biding off .. or more like unbinding. That should be a knitting term. It means that you bound off and you think it may be too tight or too loose, you are not really sure which but just in case you decide that it's best to undo what you did. In any case I have to bind off again. She said to do it a tiny bit looser then what I have been doing which is like very perplexing because I have no idea how loose I was in the 1st place and I have to be looser then that 'no idea'. I am wondering if I should wait and do it with her but that would mean I'd waste a half hour on Tuesday on this. Binding off unfortunately also depends on my mood. Sometimes I cannot bind off at all because I am too tired, stressed out whatever so that would mean I'd waste an entire Tuesday evening. I still remember how I had to bind off the collar for my mom's sweater 3-4 times. Rain outside. Big rain. I can hear it falling on the sidewalk.

12:55 PM
Almost forgot. I got a random yarn join lesson on Saturday. You can twist 2 yearns together and knit for a little bit and then let go of the short one.

June 16th, 2008
I was driving home today and I realized that this is the largest bind of I had ever had to do so I may as well do it with the instructor. I hope she is OK with it. My other bind offs were collars I think and this is like an entire front in a circle.

June 17th, 2008
I bound off for 2 hours and am still not done. I came home and found that I still had all of the instructor's pins all over my sweater. I hope she is OK with that. Tonight had a lot of different things happen. I don't know how I feel about any of them. I have to bind of the rest. She said that you bind of a little and then check the tension. I think she was trying to make me feel better because I kept making her check the tensions and exibiting all signs of feeling like an idiot. I am reading Shut Up, I am Talking by David Leavy and he is very fond of that word idiot and uses it religiously throughout his tale about the his experiences working for the Israeli Governement.

Biding results

June 19th, 2008
Have not resumed work on the sweater since Tuesday although did look at it briefly a couple of times after that. I don't have anything to say today. I am all out of words. I just remembered Annie Lennox ".. language is leaving me .. "

6:56 PM
I finished binding off. I tried sewing and I am not afraid of it but I am not sure I was doing it right. I still am not sure where to sew. I can do the ribbing but get confused on the regular stockinette and I really should not because I drop the 1st stitch so it should be obvious. I think I stopped fearing sewing after the balloon experience. I still cannot believe she did not warn me it would be so hard.

June 20th, 2008
I just remembered АЛСУ «Иногда»

June 21st, 2008
I was shown how to sew on an increase today. I think before the instructor just let me do whatever I wanted because she never drew my attention to the fact that there is a special way that you sew in this particular case. I am also under a strong suspicion that whatever I wanted may have been the correct way. I will never know. Without further ado that I am so famous for here are the instructions. You ignore the increase as if it's not there at all a.k.a place the needle next to it and then come out of it by half a stitch diagonally and then by another half a stitch diagonally until you are back to where you were before the increase. I also have to mention here that the beginning of the sleeve was sewn by going under the pearl stitch and by going underneath one part of the V. Today I realized that 2 bars that I used to go underneath are actually a sideways V so to do the sleeve you had to go under one bar of the V and leave the other alone. The little increase-decrease part of the sleeve is done loosely and I think the same way .. not sure. She did the 1st sleeve by herself. I am finally devoid of any feelings. I do not care that she did not explain at all how to sew for like 8 months and also I do not care that when sewing half the time I have no idea what I am doing. I perfectly OK with both. I think the baby sweater served as a catalyst for my sewing comprehension. I saw that the sleeve beginning had to be a braid and started noticing similarities in the way you picked up stitches and how you sewed. Besides I kind of have a vague general idea of what stuff should look like so I can aim for that on my own. The above is badly worded but I am so tired. I need rest. My emotions wear me out much more then any kind of physical or psychological labor.

4:43 PM
I am looking at the shrug-ger and I notice that the instructor did all the important stuff that make the sweater what it is. She picked up the stitches on the rim around the front and made a beautiful button hole. I am nothing without her. This is a very big phrase and does not entirely apply to the situation at hand but a small trace of it is solidly true. The rim is very important. It's the difference between a beautiful product and a complete mess.

7:58 PM
I was called an ex-beginner today by my instructor. The ultimate compliment. I remember how she would tell me something simple and I'd be offended and be like 'I am intermediate .. you do not need to tell me how to increase anymore' I am so not into any of this stuff anymore. I don't know why. I am not 100% not into it but none of this makes me as happy as it used to.

8:38 PM
I am sewing the sleeve and like I am not sure where to go and stuff and then I see that it's too lose so I try to pull the thread through like I was tought .. and it pulled!! That means I am sewing correctly. I cannot believe it. Especially when the so called sewing moves are so not straight forward. I was reading an interview today and the woman said that her mom used to tell her if it's not worth working hard for it's not worth having at all. I am remembering how much I hated sewing and how much trouble I had with the zipper and now it's all in the past. I am still however totally lazy. I can see that the stripes on the sleeve do not match and I do not want to re-sew. Of course the instructor could have mentioned that but she was just being herself.

Front Ridge

Everything just looks so great to me right now, the imperfect sewing, the goofy increase that actually produces holes if you hold the sweater up to the light etc. Someone in the store said that according to someone's calculations today is the happiest day of the year for a lot of people. So then everyone started asking everyone what's the last time they were really happy and it reminded me of that Riding in Cars with Boys movie. The knitting instructor said she has not been really happy in a long time. I think that when you get older the only thing that makes you truly happy is the generation which follows you as in children and grandchildren. Maybe I am wrong. I don't remember the last time I was truly happy either. I don't plan on it anytime soon.

June 22nd, 2008
I always confuse this date with the other .. July 22nd, 1941 I believe. Actually I confuse the months of June and July because they sound more similar in Russian then in English .. if you can believe that. Furthermore I have to actually think to figure out which comes first. In Russian it's also n before the l but sometimes I am not sure because of the n and l placements in the alphabet contradict the placement in the year of these two months. Anyhow I am sewing on my own. I cannot believe it. I am not sure I am 100% but I lost my reservations about doing it without supervision from a knowing party. I hope today is not the longest day of the year already. I will be sad. I have not really experienced summer yet.

9:47 PM
I sewed the sleeves. I was going to start attaching them to the vest type body but I cannot rem how to sew them on. Tired. Shrug is adorable. Why is everything so adorable? I don't get it.

June 23rd, 2008
I have like that increase that I am supposed to go around imbedded in my head in like the appropriate maroon color. It's a V with like a bar at the bottom. Cr-a-zy. I am so looking forward to tomorrow. Will I be done? Only time will tell .. Maria called me this morning with a cute update on her life.

10:26 PM
Let's see. Did I mention that I made two attempts on the knitting instructor's life so far. Once she slipped on a sewing needle I accidentally left on the floor, slid halfway across the room and finally stopped in front of Tatyana and I who were sitting on the windowsill .. in anticipation. To this day I have no idea how that needle got on the floor and how she managed to slip on it. It's only about 2 inches wide. The other time was this past Saturday. I had my Burberry lotion on and she apparently is allergic to weird smells. She demanded to know who was wearing perfume and I immediately confessed and then tried to air myself out by standing in front of a fan.

I keep trying on the vest part. I feel like it's perfectly bound off. When I was binding off it felt like such a mess but it looks very good on. This thing fits me perfectly. I kind of want one myself but I know I will be bored making the same thing twice. I do have the yarn in case I change my mind however.

June 25th, 2008
I am done! I left it at the instructor's because she ironed it and now miss it. I am photographing my $15 button instead of getting ready for work. I did some notes on sewing last night but Google was misbehaving. Here they are again:

Pin the sleeve to the body at the top .. I never really understand where. Where there are 4-5 stitches that are bound off on the body you want to go under the braids and tuck the bound off part in so you do not see it. The braids look diagonal so you go under the diagonal braids and then when the bound off part ends you go in between the slipped stitch and the next row like you would sewing regularly. You want the slipped stitch as your main seam. On the sleeve side you go under the braid the entire time. If there are big spaces in between the 2 V bars then you can go into the V in the middle. There is some sort of stuff there you can put a needle through. So you go under the V bar and then into the next V bar in the middle. This way you do not have large holes when the person stretches the sleeve. If one side is shorter then the other you go under 1 bar of the V.. not so bad. Also you use one thread to go to the pin and another to go from the other side to the pin.. you do not go OVER the pin and keep going. I still had to have the instructor finish the top .. I am afraid if I do it it will unravel. Anyway .. excited. I still have to weave in all the ends and stuff and do the button on Saturday. This is such a cute present. I think this is my favorite project so far since I know the most I have ever known at this point, sewing did not stress me out and Masha actually wanted it and got measured for it so I feel really confident that nothing is too short and won't fit. I should really not talk this way because you really have to think when you put your arm in the sleeve in the wrist area. Also the flappy sleeves at the bottom are like going inside more then outside. I love the green sweater the instructor is making. It's so all over the place with all the weird pieces and parts.

Now the entire sleeve back situation makes sense except I still cannot remember. You bind off on the back and then decrease so you can have a seam and then you bind off on the sleeve because you do not need a seam and if you had a seam on the sleeve and the back you would probably have some uncomfortable bump in that area from the seam of the sleeve .. maybe. Just a guess. Like if the instructor ever said this then I would remember but she prefers to keep all this as one big mystery.

Moral of the story .. you have to have even tension.. it makes it easier when you sew .. I think. Otherwise everything is longer or shorter then it's counterpart and you have to compensate which makes it bumpy .. well the way I did .. I guess I need a lesson in compensation.

7:40 PM
I miss shrug. I really do .. I did not get a chance to see it as a whole after it was done. I need some time alone with each object that I make before I let it go .. onto the body of another. I was driving today and I realized that I said something incorrect in the sewing part above. You bind off on the back and then just keep knitting up .. and on the sleeves you decrease as you go. You probably only bind off because of the armpit otherwise you would just knit the back and decrease the sleeves I guess .. confused .. but one day I will not be.

June 26th, 2008
Anticipation ..

6:35 PM
I don't really want to write at all but I will ..


This is important because a shrug only has one according to popular belief. I was wondering why the instructor did not sell me two of them, as replacement but then realized that if this one falls off Masha can sew on anything she wants. Sometimes my brain works in mysterious ways. This button was picked out by the instructor but I thought it was just OK but then I saw it again a few days later and really liked it. It's got character.. and plastic charm. Its a little sad because all I have left from the shrug is this button. Shrug is spending a few days at the instructor's house. It was a joint decision .. he had to be ironed and had to dry. I don't even have anyone to take pictures of ..

I really want to make some kind of a toy and knitting it is just too much because of the size and who wants to sew together a 3 inch pig or a snail. I am exploring crochet directions on the web but it's hard. I am a fan of word of mouth plus demo.

Regrets a.k.a. if there was a second chance ..

1. Don't know yet .. maybe casted on the sleeves looser
2. Compensated appropriately on the shoulder when sewing ..
3. Made the button hole by myself so I would know what to do for next time..
4. Paid attention when the instructor explained the increase on the sleeve to me .. !

6:41 PM
I am done .. for real. I think this is my best work minus the increase on the back that is like ridiculous. I sewed the button with the yarn and tied the loose strings and then weaved both in. Usually I knot the thread at the end. I cannot even take an adequate photograph of the thing. Maybe Masha will send me one with her in it.

This is probably the best photo. This rim came out awesome and I sewed everything by myself. The sides are not perfect but the sleeves are not bad. The sleeve flaps could have been flappier but I casted on too tight. Plus I can see the instructor did her best to make them as loose as she could under the circumstances. I was worried about the button being off center and too big for the rim but when you button it it's perfectly centered. I also like the feel of the button when you button it. I don't know what it is .. the feel and the smell of some yarn preservative emanating from the shrug.

9:58 PM
Shrug is beautiful. I keep thinking that had the instructor not ironed it it would not be what it is. She did an excellent job. I need to learn how to iron. I have a feeling I did not sew on the button. I think she went into the sweater and then I went into the button 5 times and did not connect it to the sweater but I do not really want to deal with that right now. We can figure that out if the button falls off.

June 29th, 2008
I love the shrug. I remember looking at one of the customer's sweaters. The instructor finished the sweater for her and the preson was trying it on in the store. The sleeve seam went so perfectly along the shoulder line of this woman's body that it seemed as if she was born in that clothing item. I am looking at the shrug and it kind of looks like that. Of course I do not have that other sweater to compare but this one looks really good. It's like store made .. although I am not sure if this is something to aim for in terms of quality. I am really impressed with it. But then it's not like I did it by myself. So that kind of takes something out of being completely impressed.
I guess when I was screwing up the back, destroying the sleeves with the improper increase and redoing the front sides on the airplane I never thought this would come out like this. I am kind of touched .. and in the head as usual.

The end

P.S. I have to redo the button. I am insane. I sewed through the loop but did not attach it to the shrug so it's attached twice instead of 5-6 times. I took the shrug to see a movie .. Alexandra with 81 year old Galina Vishnevskaya. I had no idea who she was but my mother was very excited to hear her name Apparently she was a big opera star in Russia. She was not a bad movie star either.

9:06 PM
I redid the button. Now I am worried it's not where it was before. Where is my confidence? I do have a problem with lopsidedness. Just look at my Minot Rose Garden photo #1-2 located in this blog. Thank goodness for ribbing on the rim .. which I noticed only after I was done as in you can count the ribbing to see if you are in the right place .. My mom was just so funny. She said something like .. "I see your primary concentration is on the button, you seem to have forgotten about everything else!" I cannot wait until tomorrow so the instructor can confirm that this button is in place or the opposite.
July 1st, 2008
My shrug has been viewed on ravelry.com 20 times so far. More then anything else I made .. not bad. I mean it's less then nothing but not bad for me. I am worried about the button.

11:22 PM
The instructor said the button is fine but she would have sewed it on so the stripes were horizontal and matched the knitting. But the way I did it it matches the ribbing .. still she prefers vertical. I am not redoing it. I already did that once and besides I am afraid it will not button correctly if I redo it again with no supervision.

11:25 PM
I just looked at one of the photos which I enlarged and the first time I sewed on the button the lines are not vertical, not horizontal.. they are diagonal so at least I did not make it worse the second time. What's interesting is everything has to be seamless in a way.. not just sewing.

June 3rd, 2008
11:15 PM
I am waiting for the dryer to release my bed sheets so I can go to sleep. I am supposed to pick up the shrug receiver around 3:30 AM. I think I will keep the shrug at home. I understood today why the instructor told me that the button is on sideways and why I did not notice anything. First I was really concerned with just getting the button in the right place and second after all this time I still see the button as something technical and she sees it as art. This is why the mistake.

July 4th, 2008

I had 3 photos of Masha and Bella. Each one had their eyes closed in #1 and #3 respectively so I chose this one. Masha is making a big face and Bella will kill me for another reason.